Archive for February, 2017

Mimi’s Grad School: February 2017

February 9, 2017

February saw us meeting at the beginning of the month as usual. This time Polly and I were the presenters and it was my birthday. Polly and I are doing Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea. I wanted to give the link to her website where the pattern is sold but the website has disappeared. Strange, because her daughters said they would continue to make her patterns available. Sue Garman died 1/8/2017 so maybe things are in flux right now.

Polly did the pirate ship, of course, as her first block. I chose the Dutch Hooker because my great-grandfather emigrated from the Netherlands to the US and the block looked fairly simple. Polly finished her block early where I was struggling the night before class. Mine doesn’t have any rigging yet and needs a sail transplant before that happens. The problem only shows upon close examination but it won’t hold up to any used so the part needs to be replaced. Then, I left my block on the wall so Polly took it home with her. First block of the year and already I’m behind. Sigh.

Polly does freezer paper on top needle turn so I decided to use that technique for this block. It’s been years since I’ve done needle turn. I hated the freezer paper on top. In January Mimi showed us a tip using a Roxanne’s white chalk pencil and an iron to make a thick hard line around the freezer paper. Heat the piece, then run the chalk pencil along the edge of the freezer paper while the piece is still hot. The heat melts the chalk to make a thick line. It uses up the pencil pretty fast. Then, the freezer paper can be removed and the chalk line turns under. That helped but it was still a pain in the butt with small pieces. Shift happened, thus the need for the sail transplant after attempting to fix the shift. I’m trying freezer paper on bottom and prepared edges with starch for the next block.

Polly read a couple of sea-faring poems and talked about pirates. I was a little nervous and zoned out so that’s about all I remember. We both talked about why we chose to do this quilt as our bucket list album and gave information about the ships represented in our blocks. Polly gave her pirate some attitude with a slightly cockeyed jaw.

I first came to Maryland in the fall of 1981. One weekend I went to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and discovered the Pride of Baltimore.

The ship was in the harbor and open to the public. That was a long time ago so I don’t remember much about the ship except walking around on it and talking to the crew members who were on duty. That was one of the things that caused me to be attracted to the Ladies of the Sea quilt. Sadly, the Pride was lost at sea in 1986.

Construction began on the Pride of Baltimore II in 1987. I’ve never seen this ship.

Everyone put up the blocks they worked on for this month. Some were catching up on the birds from last year.

Genie is doing Jacobean blocks.

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Kay is taking elements from various patterns in her collection for her quilt.

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Patty is making Rose of Sharon blocks using the Accuquilt dies.

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Sue is making blocks that combine wool and cotton. I don’t remember the name of the pattern.

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I think Peggy is making Karen Kay Buckley’s Magical Medallions.

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I don’t remember who is doing these blocks but the one on the left is a different person than the ones on the right.

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Debra is making these. I don’t remember the name. Eventually it will spell Merry Christmas.

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Clara is catching up on Barbara Brackman’s Prairie Flowers, a grad school project from some years ago.

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Joan is making these gorgeous blocks from Margaret Docherty’s Little Brown Bird.

Mimi is making lots of little baskets.

Annette made these diary quilt blocks. Mimi’s book A Quilter’s Diary is about making a quilt like this.

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I’m afraid I don’t remember who made the red block on the left. The bee blocks are from Elaine. Joan H. made the gingerbread men block.

Nechama made this block. I don’t remember the pattern name.

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Whew! What a lot of show and tell. Will we be able to keep it up throughout the year? Last year we started having a drawing every month for a prize. We’re continuing that this month. Polly and I will be giving the prizes next month.

The store extended their Super Bowl sale into Monday so we could take advantage of it. Polly and I are planning to design our own borders for Ladies of the Sea instead of making Sue’s borders. My fantasy is that I will make Sue’s borders into a strippy quilt so the fabric on the left is for in between the fancy border strips.

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I’m not much of a heart person but the fabric on the right attracted me. I resisted it’s siren call the first several times I passed it but finally succumbed on my way to pack up my stuff to leave. I think this will be a back or border. I already have an idea for the front. It will have to go on the list of things I want to make along with hundreds of others as I contemplate the ordeal of moving all my crap wonderful belongings to my new house. Closing is set for 2/28.

Mimi’s Grad School: January 2017

February 2, 2017

Our January meeting happened at the end of the month instead of the beginning because of year-end inventory at the store and Mimi’s schedule. We displayed our cardinal blocks and the overachievers showed their tops and finished quilts.

Kay found an innovative way to use one of the Row by Row fabric plates. The block in the top middle with the yellow birds is a quarter the size of the rest of the blocks.

Nechama reduced the blocks to practically nothing, something like 25% of the full-sized blocks.

I had intended to have mine assembled by the meeting day but I was overtaken by events. I started house hunting on 1/4 and found three strong contenders within the first week. I wasn’t expecting things to move so quickly. All of the houses I looked at were villas in 55+ communities. They all have a garage and first floor master suite. They all back onto green space of some kind. Someone asked me what the difference was between a townhouse and a villa. My answer was “about $200,000”. I need to ask my realtor what the real answer is.

I felt like I was on an episode of House Hunters. Will she choose the huge house in the country with shared well and septic? The cozy charmer next to I-95 and the BWI flightpath? Or, the posh new construction? My friend, Linda, dubbed the new construction “the posh house”. I took a friend with me to look at the three contenders and she, as well as Linda, voted for the new construction.

I loved the community out in the western part of the county. Saw four houses there. Didn’t like the floor plan of two of them but the best one was under contract the day after I saw it.  I saw another one with the same floor plan but it wasn’t as nice. I decided I didn’t want to mess with well and septic so discarded the idea of that community.

The 12 year old charmer had a lot going for it. It had columns separating a little sitting area and dining room from the entry, a gas fireplace with a stone surround, sun porch, screened-in patio off the basement; a large workshop that could be finished for the fabric room. But, the rooms felt small to me and by the time I did the things that needed to be done, it would cost as much as the larger newly constructed house. And, there’s the traffic noise from the interstate and airport.

The first time we looked at the posh house my realtor said, “this house is a steal!” She was really impressed and she doesn’t impress easily after 30 years in the business. Whoever made all the choices has similar taste to mine. The first floor has a small covered deck and the lower level has a covered patio. The charmer wins on those points with the sun porch and screened-in patio but the rest of the house makes up for any shortcomings. Huge kitchen, hardwood floor on the first floor except for the master bedroom. The second floor and basement are also carpeted and the carpet is off-white. After having that color in my current house, I’d rather have something closer to dirt color. The only thing I can object to is that the sinks all have two handled faucets. I prefer one. That’s easily changed. I think I’ll probably change one sink in the master bath and the sink in the basement. The basement is ground level in the back so it’s more of a lower level than what I think of when I hear basement. The basement will make a fabulous studio. It was all finished except for what the builder calls the optional exercise room. I looked at it and said it would be perfect as a fabric room but I’d have to have it finished. The sales agent said they would finish it for free. Well, not so much as it turns out. The builder wouldn’t agree to that. I ended up paying a little more than the original asking price in order to get the finished room. They did agree to add an automatic garage door opener. Can you believe it wasn’t standard? In a 55+ community with a two-car garage door?

I still have trouble believing I can afford a house like this, especially in retirement but the numbers don’t lie. Linda has already staked out a spot for her chair in the studio when she visits. We’re aiming for closing at the end of February. I’m waiting for some of the documents I need to submit for the mortgage app. That makes me antsy and the stress eating is on. I look forward to being moved but not to the moving process. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to sell my current house until I’m ready so I can move things thoughtfully. I will not have a mess at the new place!